Friday, February 17, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 02/16/17: Kitchen Organizing, Campbell's-Free Tuna Casserole, Food Pondering

1.  Thanks to a household accident, I needed to go to Target and purchase a new electric kettle and I also bought four dip bowls so that now, on the counter where I cook, there is a row of squeeze bottles with oils, soy sauce, and vinegars and four dip bowls, one of salt, one of pepper, one of garlic powder, and one empty to put other herbs/spices in when the recipe calls for them.  I also bought a second set of measuring spoons and these sit it a small cup on the counter at the ready for when I need to measure the salt/pepper/garlic powder or the herbs/spices. I'm not done organizing this cooking space just yet, but it's coming right along.

2.  We've had these two cans of tuna sitting around for a couple of weeks and today I decided to fix a tuna casserole of some kind for dinner. I don't know if I've ever made one before. I searched online for a recipe with one criterion: no condensed soup. I found one and it turned out to be fantastic:  creamy, cheesy, and thanks to the thyme and mustard, flavorful. The Deke heated hers up a bit with red pepper flakes, but I ate it as I cooked it. The only thing I'd do differently next time is either half the recipe or use two casserole dishes so that the casserole is shallower. This would highlight the potato chip topping's crunch more. (By the way the recipe called for crackers, but I opted for chips.) The recipe is easy to find.  Just click right here.

3.  I went back and watched the first episode of the series Eat the World. It's here.  I love this episode. Marcus Samuelsson and host Emeril Lagasse dive into the world of New Nordic cuisine in Sweden. They visit a chef who cooks only with wood fire -- any of you remember my mention a while back of the reindeer heart taco? They also go out on a fishing boat and eat crawfish they just caught and later go to a fascinating fish market and Samulesson fixes a gorgeous meal in one of his restaurants. I loved listening to Marcus talk about how he and the other New Nordic chefs work to embrace the traditions of Nordic food and its focus on the elements of earth, water, and fire -- and air? hmm, not sure -- and then bring other country's influences into it. It made me wonder if I could re-imagine some of the staples I experienced as Silver Valley cuisine and, with the help of influences, say, from Thailand or Greece or Lebanon, make food that might combine my years growing up with some of the cooking I like to do in my adulthood. We'll see.

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